No one thought he would win the GOP nomination. No one believed he would ever defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election. But both times, he proved everyone wrong.
President-elect Trump is the candidate no one saw coming. But the moment he surpassed the 270 mark, the world began to speculate what his first 100 days in office would look like, arguably the most important days of any President’s term.
The following list is a compilation of my predictions on the top ten things we should expect to see from the Trump administration along with the responses of his adversaries within the first 100 days.
1. The Wall
Donald Trump’s “great wall”, a cornerstone of his campaign, came with the promise of not only building a wall spanning America’s southern border, but also having Mexico pay for it. Under any normal circumstances, Mexico paying for a wall that would cost approximately 49 billion dollars would be highly unlikely, if not impossible. But despite all odds against it, I believe that within the first one hundred days, an agreement will be reached for exactly that to happen in some shape or form. Mexico will inexplicably pay for the wall.
An issue at the forefront of the 2016 election was immigration and its continued resurfacing in campaigns for as long as I can remember is a testament to its complexity and the challenges it presents to any political policy attempted by Washington. Immigration and the debate over its benefits and repercussions will not be going away any time soon. Nonetheless, despite the concerns of undocumented immigrants that deportation will likely result following the inauguration of Donald Trump, it is highly unlikely that within the first 100 days, many illegal immigrants, if any, will be deported. In fact, it is highly unlikely that many undocumented immigrants will be deported during the entirety of Trump’s tenure in office. However, what we may see is a prioritization of deportation of illegal immigrants with criminal records and a firmer policy towards new illegal immigrants. With certainty, however, we can expect pushback on the Trump administration from certain state and local governments, particularly sanctuary cities.
If Obamacare is ever to be repealed and replaced, it will be done so in the first 100 days. I believe that it is highly likely that this will happen. Failing to do so would be the equivalent of political suicide for many Republicans in Congress. What is uncertain, though, is just how effective a Trump healthcare plan will be for the American people, or for that matter, what that healthcare plan may even look like.
4. Supreme Court
Trump has promised to make a nomination for the Supreme Court within the first two weeks in office. Though I have little doubt that will likely be true, there will be some pushback from the Democratic party in the Senate and even some insurgent Republican Senators. But, with time, the nomination will be confirmed and within the first 100 days, we will once again have nine Supreme Court justices.
5. China and Trade
I believe that one area that Trump will excel in is trade. Given his background, making deals is his expertise. Likewise, when he claims that he will “negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs”, I have no doubt that he will. In fact, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted a boom in the U.S. economy over the next two years as a result of Trump’s policies. But, in regard to his promises to all but wage a trade war on China, this will only result in greater hostility from the Chinese government towards America, and according to the IMF, may lead to the eventual decline in the global economy as a result of trade wars.
6. Fiscal Policy and the National Debt
This next point follows from Trump’s indubitable adeptness in the art of making deals, and in this case, renegotiating trade deals being a key element to what I believe will be a period of great fiscal growth in the United States. In fact, over the next few years, I would concur with economist David Shulman when he states that the Trump administration’s policies will likely result in “a massive fiscal stimulus on an economy at or very close to full employment”. However, I believe it is prudent to warn that this fiscal stimulus may be the result of increased government spending, rather than a decline of it. A hallmark of conservative and, hence, Republican campaign policy up to this point has always been a reduction of government size and spending, the operative word being campaign policy. In reality, even the staunchest of elected fiscal conservatives rarely follow through on that promise. That is the chief reason behind the massive debt that we have accumulated - no one has bothered to do anything about it and unfortunately, I do not see the debt crisis being resolved anytime soon.
ISIS is perhaps one of the greatest threats to national and international security. But, it will not be solved within Trump’s first 100 days. In fact, it will likely not be solved within the next several years either. I am afraid that ISIS and similar terrorist groups will only continue to surge and grow in the coming years. A reason for this is the immense difficulty in combatting an enemy who hides in the midst of innocent civilians as well as the issues associated with any form of collective action attempted by states, a strategy necessary for defeating radical terrorist groups such as ISIS.
8. Environmental Policy
As unexpected as Trump’s nomination and subsequent election, likewise, will be his reversal on environmental policy. Trump has previously stated that he believes global warming to be a hoax, but, as of January 11, in Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil stated that he believed it to be “important that the United States maintain[s] its seat at the table on the conversations around how to address the threats of climate change, which do require a global response. No one country is going to solve this alone”. I believe that a similar policy will soon follow from Trump. Never one to shy away from negotiations, President-elect Trump’s ability to negotiate will draw him into becoming involved in global talks to reduce the threats of climate change.
9. Riots and Protests
Around the time of the inauguration, there will be protests. Already, there are massive demonstrations and protests scheduled in and around that time. But the thing about time is that with time, people forget. Expect protests to occur for a few weeks, maybe for a month. Then everyone will go on and do what they would have done from the beginning had any other mainstream candidate won – accept the fact that President-elect Trump is now President Trump.
10. The Media
Throughout the first 100 days and well into Trump’s first term, most media outlets will continue to aggressively attack Donald Trump. That will not change. Even if he turns out to be the most successful President this country has ever had, negative news always sells better than positive news, and for that reason, Donald Trump will continue to have a target on his head. For as unpredictable as Donald Trump may be, the news media always behaves in the same way.
But the most important point of all is that the next 100 days and the next four years will be anything but conventional. While some await the first 100 days with great anxiety, others with great expectations, one thing this election has taught us is to expect the unexpected from Donald Trump.